Adam Vinatieri

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Adam Vinatieri
Vinatieri, Adam (USAF).jpg
Adam Vinatieri in 2007.
No. 4     Indianapolis Colts
Personal information
Date of birth: (1972-12-28) December 28, 1972 (age 41)
Place of birth: Yankton, South Dakota
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 209 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school: Rapid City (SD) Central
College: South Dakota State
Undrafted in 1995
Debuted in 1996 for the New England Patriots
Career history
*Offseason and or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2014
Field goals 476
Field goal attempts 568
Field goal % 83.8
Long field goal 57
Points scored 2,136
Stats at

Adam Matthew Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972) is an American football placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He has played in five Super Bowls, four with the New England Patriots and one with the Colts. Vinatieri won Super Bowls in 2001, 2003, and 2004 with the Patriots, as well in 2006 with the Colts. He is the first kicker ever to win four Super Bowl rings.

Vinatieri has been called "Mr. Clutch" by the media due to his reputation for success when kicking under pressure during his tenure in the National Football League.[1] Nicknamed "Automatic Adam" for his accuracy, and "Iceman" for his poise under pressure,[2] Vinatieri has converted several of the most crucial field goals in NFL history, including the game-tying and -winning kicks in blizzard conditions in the infamous "Tuck Rule Game", and game-winning kicks in the final seconds of two Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII).


High School[edit]

Vinatieri was born in Yankton, South Dakota, the son of Judy M. (Goeken) and Paul Vinatieri. His great-great-grandfather was Italian, and his other ancestry includes German and English.[3][4] He is the second of four children.[5] His younger brother Beau was a place kicker at Black Hills State University before graduating in 2003. Vinatieri attended Central High School (Rapid City, South Dakota) and was a letterman in football, wrestling, basketball, soccer, and track. In football, he earned first team All-State honors as a senior. He graduated from Central High School in 1991.

Before starting at kicker, Vinatieri was quarterback and middle linebacker. When asked why he no longer played one of those positions, he replied, "I quit growing."[citation needed]

College career[edit]

Vinatieri was originally recruited to kick for Army and attended West Point for two weeks in 1991 before deciding to return home to South Dakota.[6] He was a four-year letterman at South Dakota State University as a placekicker and punter. While there, he won two Division II titles and finished his college career as SDSU's all-time scoring leader with 185 career points.

Amsterdam Admirals[edit]

Vinatieri spent the fall of 1995 training to compete professionally. He received a tryout for the World League of American Football (later rebranded as NFL Europe), now defunct, and earned a roster position with the Amsterdam Admirals as a placekicker and punter. In that season the Admirals lost the World Bowl III against Frankfurt Galaxy.

New England Patriots[edit]

In 1996, Vinatieri was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent to be a placekicker. He played in New England for the first 10 years of his NFL career, during which he played in four Super Bowls, winning three titles. In his rookie season, he chased down and tackled Dallas Cowboys returner Herschel Walker on a kickoff, leading then-Patriots head coach Bill Parcells to tell his rookie kicker "You're not a kicker—you're a football player." His first Super Bowl appearance was in his rookie season of 1996, when he played with the Patriots in their 35–21 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. One of his kickoffs in the Super Bowl was returned by Desmond Howard a Super Bowl-record 99 yards for a touchdown. In the 2001 playoffs, during a blizzard against the Oakland Raiders in the final game at Foxboro Stadium, Vinatieri kicked a 45-yard field goal into a swirling winter wind to tie the game 13–13 and send it into overtime. The Patriots won the game on another field goal of 23 yards by Vinatieri.

In Super Bowl XXXVI Vinatieri kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play to give the New England Patriots their first Super Bowl victory, a 20–17 win over the St. Louis Rams. Two years later, and in an almost identical situation, he kicked a 41-yard field goal with four seconds left in Super Bowl XXXVIII to boost the Patriots to another championship (after missing one field goal and having another attempt blocked in the first half). This time, the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32–29, making Vinatieri the first player ever to be the deciding factor in two Super Bowl games (Vinatieri kept the balls used on both of these kicks).[citation needed]

Vinatieri warming up during the pre-game of Super Bowl XXXIX.

Vinatieri led the NFL in scoring in 2004 with 141 points (31-for-33 on field goals, and a perfect 48-for-48 on points after touchdown or PATs). In a game against the St. Louis Rams, Vinatieri scored 16 points (4 field goals, 4 PATs), and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Troy Brown on a fake field goal attempt (that pass gives him a career passer rating of 122.9).[7] He went on to score a field goal and three extra points in the Patriots 24–21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.

By the time Vinatieri finished his final season with the Patriots in 2005, he had kicked 18 game-winning field goals with less than one minute remaining, including the postseason. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, he had a career field goal percentage of 81.9 percent (263/321), fifth highest in NFL history. In his time in New England, his community involvement included helping Christian athletes, D.A.R.E., and the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau. He was a spokesperson for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island's teen anti-smoking contest, and also appeared in commercials for Boston-based pizza Papa Gino's. Vinatieri finished his 10 seasons with the Patriots as the team's all-time leading scorer with 1,156 points. The Patriots have not re-issued Vinatieri's No. 4 since he left the team.

Indianapolis Colts[edit]

2006 season[edit]

After the 2005 season, the Patriots chose not to place the franchise tag on Vinatieri as they had the year before, allowing him to become a free agent. He had visited with the Green Bay Packers, but left without a contract offer. On March 22, 2006, Vinatieri signed with the Indianapolis Colts, replacing Mike Vanderjagt who was signed by the Dallas Cowboys. Vinatieri was signed to a five-year contract and received a $3.5 million signing bonus.

"When the Colts called, I told my agent, `Let's not screw around,' " said Vinatieri, in his first extensive comments regarding his departure from New England. "I told him, 'If Indy is interested, let's get this done.'" ... Vinatieri said he has no regrets about not giving the Patriots a chance to counter the offer.[8]

Vinatieri has had one kick blocked in the RCA Dome. With the New England Patriots, Vinatieri was perfect against the Colts in Indianapolis. In the second round of the 2006 AFC playoffs, Vinatieri kicked a playoff record-tying five field goals in the Colts' 15–6 upset of the favored Baltimore Ravens.

The Colts reached Super Bowl XLI after defeating the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. It was Vinatieri's fifth Super Bowl appearance, and his first with the Colts. The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears by a score of 29–17. Vinatieri was 3 for 4 on field goals, and 1 for 2 on points after touchdowns, the miss when punter/holder Hunter Smith fumbled the snap on the extra-point attempt. He missed a 36-yard kick wide left at the end of the first half—the third time he had missed a kick in the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLI was Vinatieri's fourth Super Bowl victory, one behind the record held by Charles Haley. Vinatieri finished the 2006–07 postseason with 49 total points and 14 field goals, both NFL records. He is the only player to have 3 or more field goals in 4 consecutive postseason games.

2007 season[edit]

During the 2007 season, Vinatieri appeared in all 16 games and was 23–29 field goals (FGs) and 49–51 PATs for 118 points (both missed PATs were blocked).[9] This season marked his 12th consecutive 100+ point season. He kicked his 20th career game-winning FG in the final minute of a 4th quarter of overtime three seconds remaining vs. Kansas City on November 18, 2007. In the postseason that year, Vinatieri extended his NFL career postseason records in field goals (41), attempts (50), points (172) and consecutive games scoring (22).[9]

2008 season[edit]

During the 2008 season Vinatieri appeared in 16 games and was 20–25 FGs and 43–43 PATs for 103 points, his 13th consecutive season with over (100+) points.[9] He made a 47-yard game-winner with three seconds remaining against Minnesota on September 14, the 21st of his career. He made a 52-yard FG vs. New England on November 2 with 8:05 remaining for the deciding points in 18–15 victory and was named AFC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week. Later that month, on November 23, Vinatieri hit a game-winner with :00 remaining at San Diego. The 51-yarder was both his longest game-winning FG and the 22nd game-winning FG of career.[9]

2009 season[edit]

Vinatieri appeared in only 6 games for the Colts in 2009. In July 2009, Vinatieri had surgery on his right hip to alleviate a nagging injury, but the Colts expected that he would be ready for the season.[10] However, Vinatieri struggled early in the season and complained of soreness in his knee. Doctors found loose cartilage in an MRI, and Vinatieri underwent arthroscopic surgery during the Colts' bye week.[11] He was expected to miss 4–8 weeks while recovering. The Colts signed former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover to replace him. There was speculation over whether the Colts could cut Vinatieri, but Colts president Bill Polian stated that Vinatieri would return when he was 100% healthy.[12] Vinatieri would remain injured for the entire 2009 regular season as well as throughout the Colts' postseason run to Super Bowl XLIV.[13] Vinatieri did not play in Super Bowl XLIV, which the Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints.

2010 season[edit]

The 2010 season showed a return to form after his injury-plagued 2009 season. Vinatieri appeared in 15 games that season.[9] In the final game of the regular season in which the Colts claimed the AFC South title, Vinatieri recorded his 23rd career game-winning kick in the final minute of regulation or overtime.[14] He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time after the game.[14] Some other noteworthy accomplishments for Vinatieri during 2010 include:

  • Became 12th kicker in NFL history to score 1,600 points in career.[9]
  • Became the seventh kicker in NFL history to score 500 plus points with two different teams (850 with Colts; 1,156 with Patriots)
  • Connected on 26 of 28 field goals (92.9 percent) this season, the best percentage among NFL kickers that season with at least 20 attempts
  • On November 14 vs. Cincinnati surpassed Eddie Murray (who had 352 career FGs) for 11th-most FGs made in NFL history[9]
  • His 129 points marked the second-most of his career. It marked the 14th time he surpassed 100 points in a season[9]
  • After being named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week two times during 2010, it marked twelve (12) times during his career (includes 8 times with the New England Patriots)[14]

With 53 seconds left in the Colts' Wild Card playoff game against the New York Jets, Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal, his third field goal of the game, to put the Colts ahead 16–14. The Jets later won the game on a 32-yard field goal by Nick Folk as time expired.

2013 season[edit]

On January 11, 2014 against the Patriots in the Divisional Playoff round, Vinatieri became the first player in NFL history to convert 50 field goals in the postseason.[15]

On March 11, 2014, Vinatieri signed a two-year extension with the Colts.[16]

Career stats[edit]

These statistics are accurate as of Week 6 of the 2014–15 season.

Season Team PAT PAT Pct. 1–19 20–29 30–39 40–49 50+ FGM-FGA FG Pct. Long Points Results
1996 New England Patriots 39/42 92.9% 1/1 9/10 8/8 8/14 1/2 27/35 77.1% 50 120 (11–5, 1st) Lost Super Bowl XXXI
1997 40/40 100% 0/0 11/11 7/9 6/8 1/1 25/29 86.2% 52 115 (10–6, 1st) Lost Divisional Playoffs
1998 32/32 100% 3/3 8/8 9/14 9/12 2/2 31/39 79.5% 55 127 (9–7, 4th) Lost Wild Card Playoffs
1999 29/30 96.7% 1/1 14/14 5/7 5/9 1/2 26/33 78.8% 51 107 (8–8, 4th) Did not reach the Playoffs
2000 25/25 100% 0/0 11/13 8/9 7/8 1/3 27/33 81.8% 53 106 (5–11, 5th) Did not reach the Playoffs
2001 41/42 97.6% 1/1 8/8 7/8 7/12 1/1 24/30 80.0% 54 113 (11–5, 1st) Won Super Bowl XXXVI
2002 36/36 100% 0/0 6/6 12/12 8/10 1/2 27/30 90.0% 57 117 (9–7, 2nd) Did not reach the Playoffs
2003 37/38 97.4% 0/0 16/17 4/8 5/8 0/1 25/34 73.5% 48 112 (14–2, 1st) Won Super Bowl XXXVIII
2004 48/48 100% 0/0 13/13 7/7 11/12 0/1 31/33 93.9% 48 141 (14–2, 1st) Won Super Bowl XXXIX
2005 40/41 97.6% 0/0 7/7 9/10 4/6 0/2 20/25 80.0% 49 100 (10–6, 1st) Lost Divisional Playoffs
2006 Indianapolis Colts 38/38 100% 1/1 3/3 12/13 9/10 0/1 25/28 89.3% 48 113 (12–4, 1st) Won Super Bowl XLI
2007 49/51 96.1% 1/1 14/15 8/10 0/2 0/1 23/29 79.3% 39 118 (13–3, 1st) Lost Divisional Playoffs
2008 43/43 100% 0/0 3/3 11/13 4/7 2/2 20/25 80.0% 52 103 (12–4, 2nd) Lost Wild Card Playoffs
2009 17/18 94.4% 1/1 3/3 1/2 2/2 0/1 7/9 77.8% 48 38 (14–2, 1st) Lost Super Bowl XLIV
2010 51/51 100% 0/0 8/8 9/10 9/10 0/0 26/28 92.9% 50 129 (10–6, 1st) Lost Wild Card Playoffs
2011 24/24 100% 0/0 7/7 6/7 8/10 2/3 23/27 85.2% 53 93 (2–14, 4th) Did not reach the Playoffs
2012 37/37 100% 1/1 8/8 4/7 9/10 4/7 26/33 78.8% 53 115 (11–5, 2nd) Lost Wild Card Playoffs
2013 34/34 100% 0/0 6/6 10/11 15/17 4/6 35/40 87.5% 52 139 (11–5, 1st) Lost Divisional Playoffs
2014 44/44 100% 0/0 7/7 10/10 7/7 3/3 27/27 100% 53 125
TOTALS 704/714 98.6% 10/10 163/168 146/174 133/174 23/41 475/567 83.8% 57 2,131 4 Titles

Honors and awards[edit]

NFL records[edit]

  • Most postseason field goals in a career: 51
  • Most consecutive games in a single postseason with 3+ field goals: 4
  • Most points in postseason, career: 213
  • Most field goals in a single postseason: 14
  • Most field goals in Super Bowls: 7
  • Most extra points in Super Bowls: 13
  • Total points in a single postseason: 49 in 2006 (surpassing Terrell Davis' previous record of 48)
  • Most field goals in a single NFL postseason game: 5 (tied with six others); achieved twice, with the Patriots vs. the Colts in the 2003–04 AFC Championship, and with the Colts vs. the Baltimore Ravens in 2006


Vinatieri, his wife Valeri, and their two children, AJ and Allison, reside in Carmel, Indiana during the football season and Celebration, Florida during the off-season. He is the second of four children. His great-great grandfather was Felix Vinatieri, an Italian immigrant who served as Lt Col George Armstrong Custer's bandmaster.[17][18] Adam Vinatieri has stated that Lt Col Custer told Felix Vinatieri to head back to camp instead of going ahead with the regiment to Little Big Horn, and that this decision saved his great-great grandfather's life. He is also a third cousin to the daredevil Evel Knievel[19] and second cousin to scientist and author Tim Foecke.[20] A collection of Felix Vinatieri manuscripts and instruments can be found at the National Music Museum located in Vermillion, South Dakota.[21]


Vinatieri starred in a television commercial for the Snickers candy bar with the tagline, "Split the Uprights with Adam Nougatieri."[22] He also appeared in a sketch featuring Da Bears for Saturday Night Live, and as a guest star in NFL Monday Night Football, NBC Sunday Night Football, ESPN Sunday Night Football and The Greatest Game Ever Played.[23]


  1. ^ [1] Mr. Clutch
  2. ^ Saraceno, Joe (January 18, 2010). "Best decade ever by a kicker? Adam Vinatieri ruled the 2000s". Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Bio on". Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  6. ^ Battista, Judy (February 1, 2002). "Patriots' Vinatieri Has Quite a Foot and Quite a Tale". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved March 22, 2009. 
  7. ^ Sports Illustrated, September 24, 2007, p. 30
  8. ^ "Vinatieri shunned Patriots, Boston Globe". Boston Globe. August 10, 2006. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Official Website of the Indianapolis Colts". Retrieved January 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Colts expect Vinatieri for season, ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Adam Vinatieri of Indianapolis Colts has Knee Surgery, ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Polian: Vinatieri's job is safe, Wish TV". Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ Tom Pedulla (February 7, 2010). "Super Bowl veteran Adam Vinatieri watches from Colts sideline". USA TODAY. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c Oehser, John (January 5, 2011). "Adam Vinatieri Wins AFC Honor". Aol Sports, AOL Inc. Retrieved January 6, 2011. 
  15. ^ Smith, Michael David (January 12, 2014). "Adam Vinatieri tops 50 career playoff field goals". Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Colts re-sign Adam Vinatieri". ESPN. March 11, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  17. ^ "The 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment Fought in the Battle of the Little Bighorn". Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  18. ^ Gregory, Sean (January 30, 2004). "The Patriots: Adam Vinatieri, Daredevil". Time. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ Gregory, Sean (January 30, 2004). "The Patriots: Adam Vinatieri, Daredevil". Time. Retrieved December 25, 2009. 
  20. ^ Phillips, J.D. Genealogical Amusements. North Michigan University. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Felix Vinatieri manuscripts". Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  22. ^ "SNICKERS Adam Vinatieri commercial Nougatieri". YouTube. August 13, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  23. ^ on

External links[edit]